Life isn’t always plain sailing and tough times will happen. It’s crucial to your success and happiness that you work through these periods. The alternative is that they beat you. Switching overwhelm and anger into clarity and determination is a skill well worth mastering. Finding mantras that resonate is one way to get there.
Here are eight mantras to get you through the tough times.
“Failure is feedback”
How amazing would life be if we never failed? In reality, failing is inevitable for anyone with ambition or trying something new. That means it’s crucial to be able to move past failure and use it to our advantage, Harry Snell, harrysnell.com, uses the phrase “failure is feedback” as a reminder to keep learning and adapting throughout adversity. He views failure simply as feedback that something isn’t going as planned and needs to change. It switches his mindset from despair to being resourceful and seeking improvement.
“I’m doing my best”
If you have a lot going on, don’t add to the challenge by putting yourself under pressure. Joanna Watson, head of client services at JC Social Media, turns to this affirmation when she has a lot on her plate. Especially when working in a busy role, or navigating turbulent occurrences outside work, continuously reminding yourself that you are doing your best might be the reassurance you need to let everything else go. All you can ever do is your best.
“I’ve been knocked down before and I can get back up again.”
Louis Gleize, CEO of Loyal Fitness Inc., takes a trip down memory lane to remind himself that he has faced similar situations before and overcame them. Why would now be any different? A similar method is used by David Goggins, as told in his book Can’t Hurt Me. Goggins recommends that everyone create their own “cookie jar” list; consisting of achievements, life wins, problems you solved and obstacles you overcame. During a tough time or an event requiring endurance, mentally visit the cookie jar and remind yourself that you are resilient.
“Everything unfolds in my favour”
Consultant Darren Horne repeats this mantra to remind him that in the end, all is well. He knows that at some point he will look back on this challenge as a crucial marker on the path to achievement, so he takes the time to appreciate it whilst he’s going through it. Having unwavering confidence that everything will unfold in your favour means you can see adversities as tests or fun challenges, no matter what they are.
“This too shall pass”
Chris Reynolds, host of the Business Method Podcast, uses this Persian adage as a short reminder that any pain, physical and mental, is temporary. When faced with a tough time, it’s easy to trick yourself that this feeling will always be there. That the uncomfortableness will never fade, or the pain will never subside. In truth, it always moves on. Just like the sun rises and sets every day, the seasons change, and time goes by: this too shall pass.
Ben Franks, strength and conditioning coach at MSC Performance, uses this one-word mantra by Jocko Willink to respond to anything thrown at him, literally and figuratively. The key is to use the word in response to anything. My work got deleted? Good. It’s cold outside? Good. I feel like giving up. Good. Take it one step further by finding one reason why it’s good. Deleted work is a chance to do it better. Cold weather is a chance to get tough. Feeling like giving up is a sign that you’re nearing your potential.
During lockdown, Franks ran a marathon in his back garden to raise money for the United Kingdom’s National Health Service. His response to every blister, ache and hit of fatigue? Good.
“If you feel like rushin’ it could be the devil pushin’
A left-field entry from contractor Aiden Volkovsky; this mantra reminds him to pause, take a breath and weigh up what’s happening. Faster doesn’t always mean better, and feeling resistance could be a sign that a change needs to be made. Rather than blindly pushing through tough times, Volkovsky’s advice to himself involves digging into the problem to be absolutely sure of it before proceeding with the solution and all that it involves.
“It’s not about how hard you can hit, it’s about how hard you can hit and keep moving forward”
Catherine Shamel, office manager at the Ministry of Justice, quotes this famous line from Rocky Balboa’s iconic speech as a reminder to keep moving forward and getting back up when she doesn’t feel like doing so. If it’s good enough for Rocky it’s good enough for the rest of us. The mantra is a reminder that after each punch must come a progression. Each hurdle overcome paves the way to reach the next one, and there will be a next one.
Find a mantra that resonates with you and ignites the internal fire you require to work through a challenge and stay on track. Once you have it, write it somewhere you can see it at all times, until you can find it automatically.